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Posted: 7/5/2013 9:55:24 PM EST
Recently we started seeing some flying ants/termites in the kitchen but only at night. I wonder if the florescent light in the kitchen is attracting them. Having a hard time trying to figure out where they are coming from. I sprayed bug killer along the base boards and didnt see any tonight. Tried looking for some kind of sign but havent seen anything. I was thinking of sealing off the kitchen to see if they are contained there or maybe coming from somewhere else. Any ideas?
Link Posted: 7/6/2013 5:33:40 AM EST
I'd look outside at the foundation and/or in the crawlspace for mud tunnels.
Link Posted: 7/6/2013 7:43:50 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/6/2013 7:45:33 AM EST by Trollslayer]
By the time you see termites swarming inside your house, the house is infested - maybe more, maybe less but definitely you're infested. Call a termite specialist (exterminator) and get the house treated.

They are not crooks. They know what's going on and how to treat it. The treatment doesn't last forever, so be prepared for repeat visits from them. It might be bad enough that you need to bag and fumigate the house. They will know.
Link Posted: 7/6/2013 1:08:12 PM EST
Originally Posted By veritas_rasa:
I'd look outside at the foundation and/or in the crawlspace for mud tunnels.


There are already dry wood (Formosan) termites along the southern US.

They do not live in an underground nest, but nest in the wood galleries they eat in the wood.
Link Posted: 7/6/2013 8:36:33 PM EST
Thanks for all replys, I hate to think what this is going to cost me (compared to extensive repairs I'm sure its less).
Link Posted: 7/6/2013 9:03:22 PM EST
Originally Posted By downrivertrash:
Thanks for all replys, I hate to think what this is going to cost me (compared to extensive repairs I'm sure its less).


Make sure you don't have carpenter ants first. Google the picture differences.
Link Posted: 7/7/2013 7:01:46 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/7/2013 7:02:10 AM EST by Trollslayer]
Where I live, a complete house bagging and fumigation is only a few $k. It shouldn't be too bad. It may not even come to that. Call a few places and get bids.
Link Posted: 7/7/2013 4:57:36 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/7/2013 4:58:53 PM EST by MrTinkels]
Termites have 4 symmetrical wings, Ants do not.

Its normal to see the male ants swarm in the summer, They are looking for a mate. If you are seeing real termites inside, then you are pretty well infested.

I would call a good pest management company and have them check it out.

If you have them once its a good idea to have the home treated a couple times a year. I have many customers that I service 3 times a year just to keep the creepys out.

Do not use raid or most of anything at the store. They are repellants and will do more harm then good.
Link Posted: 7/7/2013 5:31:30 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/7/2013 8:15:32 PM EST by ar-jedi]
Originally Posted By Trollslayer:
Where I live, a complete house bagging and fumigation is only a few $k. It shouldn't be too bad. It may not even come to that. Call a few places and get bids.

fumigating the house is not an approach which will provide successful long term effect on controlling termites.

killing the flying (swarming) termites, or even the worker termites currently above ground, isn't going to do shit about a termite problem.

you are battling a couple million years of evolution here. they don't go away when you kill 0.01% of their population. they just take another approach.

Fipronil, the ingredient in Termidor, works differently, and works in a way that is very effective against termites.

termite pesticide application is best done by applying it to the soil before the foundation is poured, after the foundation pour but before the soil is pushed back up against the block, by "rodding" (inserting a hollow rod down against the foundation), or by placing baited traps (tasty wood laced with Fipronil) in key locations. in no case will you be filling a garden sprayer with Termidor and spraying the ground –– this is not an effective use of the chemical and will not make an impact on the termites. they do not live on the ground; the live in a colony ranging from one hundred to ten million inhabitants about 2-6 feet below the ground. the mud paths they build into an above-ground structure are protection from predators such as ants, and allow the worker termites safe transit to bring food (semi-digested moist wood) back to the colony. in no case, unless there is some disruption to their mud tunnels, will you be able to see or spray termites directly. they work in stealth mode. instead, you have to get them to feed on wood treated with a pesticide, and Fipronil works well in this mode.

Fipronil does not (initially) kill a dosed termite. worker termites exposed to Fipronil travel back to the underground colony and deposit "food" (it's actually their crap) for the other colony members to eat. this occurs for 3-7 days. eventually about 20% of the colony has been exposed to Fipronil. but it's an important 20%. the pesticide then shuts off an enzyme in their brains and they have a seizure. the problem for the colony now is that the worker termites are all dead. the FSA in the colony stands around waiting for the food to be brought to them. that doesn't happen. they starve to death. the colony collapses. this is the "nuke them from orbit" approach and is far, far more successful than battling them above the ground.

ps
effective termite control is not simple, and it's extremely easy to kill a lot of other beneficial insects in the process. for example –– pesticides like Fipronil also kill bees, and in fact several governments in europe have banned Fipronil use based on research linking it to honey bee colony collapse. Fipronil will also kill ants, the natural enemy of termites. too few ants will lead to more termites. so it's a giant tradeoff.

ar-jedi

Link Posted: 7/7/2013 8:13:39 PM EST
Thanks for all the good information, I will be calling some places tomorrow to get inspected and prices.
Link Posted: 7/8/2013 3:26:21 AM EST
After getting rid of the termites, how do you go about figuring out what parts of your house have been eaten?

We just bought a house that had a previous termite infestation, about 15 years ago, that was treated. Our termite inspection came back with no active termites. My husband wanted to rehang the front door because it wasn't level, and discovered that the studs on the hinge side of the door had been totally destroyed. Is there any way for us to determine what else might be damaged? We only discovered this one because he was trying to determine why the screws in the hinges were just spinning...
Link Posted: 7/8/2013 8:31:00 AM EST
It is also the proper time of the year for the termites to look for new homes, so the are out and about scouting. Perhaps you had a few of these come to your light,,, perhaps...
Link Posted: 7/8/2013 9:03:29 AM EST
Originally Posted By watercat:
After getting rid of the termites, how do you go about figuring out what parts of your house have been eaten?

We just bought a house that had a previous termite infestation, about 15 years ago, that was treated. Our termite inspection came back with no active termites. My husband wanted to rehang the front door because it wasn't level, and discovered that the studs on the hinge side of the door had been totally destroyed. Is there any way for us to determine what else might be damaged? We only discovered this one because he was trying to determine why the screws in the hinges were just spinning...


Regretfully not without tearing out just about every wall and looking.

You can have a termite detecting dog give things a sniff, and then consider further investigations a the locations the dog 'hits' on.
Probably better for subterranean since they produce a damp smell even a human can detect in many cases.

Tenting is for dry wood termites, subterranean termites can usually be followed to the locations in the wood since they build mud tubes and return to the underground nest every day.

An ice pick is a useful tool to use in searching for damage.

it leaves a small enough hole to easily repair in drywall, while letting you tell if a stud is still solid.

Part of the problem is that termites often do not consume an entire stud, so even poking it with an ice pick blind may not hit the damaged area.

The inability to judge damage without major wall removal is one of the chief problems.
I had an older house 1934) tat had significant termite damage.

I was forced to remove the vast majority of the 2-coat plaster to run down the last of the damage.
The subterranean termites had gotten half way up some second floor studs.

Luckily I did not pay to much for the place, and it was in a location that allowed additions to increase the value.




Link Posted: 7/8/2013 9:28:59 AM EST

Originally Posted By brickeyee:
Originally Posted By watercat:
After getting rid of the termites, how do you go about figuring out what parts of your house have been eaten?

We just bought a house that had a previous termite infestation, about 15 years ago, that was treated. Our termite inspection came back with no active termites. My husband wanted to rehang the front door because it wasn't level, and discovered that the studs on the hinge side of the door had been totally destroyed. Is there any way for us to determine what else might be damaged? We only discovered this one because he was trying to determine why the screws in the hinges were just spinning...


Regretfully not without tearing out just about every wall and looking.

You can have a termite detecting dog give things a sniff, and then consider further investigations a the locations the dog 'hits' on.
Probably better for subterranean since they produce a damp smell even a human can detect in many cases.

(snip)


That's what I was afraid of. The use of a dog is interesting - I've never heard of that before.
Link Posted: 7/8/2013 12:36:38 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/8/2013 12:38:30 PM EST by Trollslayer]
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
fumigating the house is not an approach which will provide successful long term effect on controlling termites.

ar-jedi



Fumigating the house kills the infestation of the structure. That is also really key. In true ARFCOM fashion, you need to do both - kill them in the ground (if you can) and kill the structural infestation.

Yes, you also need to treat the ground surrounding the house. A decent termite company will know exactly what you have and what to do to kill the infestation and retard their return.
Link Posted: 7/8/2013 8:37:56 PM EST
On the way home from work a Truly Nolan truck was right in front of me. Called the 800 number and they'll be by Tuesday, we'll see what happens.

Also as a way of inspecting in the walls, I had a chance to borrow a high dollar fiber optic scope (looked like a scaled down version of the one my GI doc used) and I used it to see where some water leaks in the roof were coming from. Left a hole the size of a pencil and you could move it around really good. Wish I could use it again.

I joked about using it on myself to save a trip to the doctor, wife was not amused.
Link Posted: 7/8/2013 8:50:31 PM EST

just note -- termites often do not usually breach the surface of the wood they are eating. this is a defense mechanism -- it keeps their predators (like black ants) at bay. hence, you may or may not be able to see termite activity using an inspection scope. but, you can often test for activity using an awl or other pointed inspection probe. the affected wood will be soft. what you can also look for is telltale mud -- termites use mud to build tunnels to use as highways, and also build other protective means over their worksites.

refer to the 3rd and 4th pictures below. see the mud inside, where the corner studs meet the top plate? this.is.a.clue.

if you look closely at center of the last picture below, you can see active termites: blond colored, and about a quarter inch long.

ar-jedi
















Link Posted: 7/9/2013 5:52:54 AM EST
Originally Posted By Trollslayer:
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
fumigating the house is not an approach which will provide successful long term effect on controlling termites.

ar-jedi



Fumigating the house kills the infestation of the structure. That is also really key. In true ARFCOM fashion, you need to do both - kill them in the ground (if you can) and kill the structural infestation.

Yes, you also need to treat the ground surrounding the house. A decent termite company will know exactly what you have and what to do to kill the infestation and retard their return.


No reason to tent for subterranean termites.

When you poison the nest they will all die when they return.
Link Posted: 7/9/2013 8:38:32 PM EST
One estimate today, $2300.00 for inside and outside by Truly Nolan. Will work on getting other estimates before I decide. Looks like my precesion rifle work is going to get put on the back burner.
Link Posted: 7/9/2013 8:48:05 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/9/2013 8:53:48 PM EST by Trollslayer]
Seems OP is on the right path.
Link Posted: 7/14/2013 10:29:07 AM EST
I am going to throw a question in here. I see mud tunnels in my yard sometimes, especially when it is dry, but do not see them on the foundation or any signs of anything in the house. Should I be worried? Been considering getting the yard sprayed.
Link Posted: 7/15/2013 9:14:01 PM EST
Another estimate is afternoon, $1400.00 from Terminex. They do the same barrier protection outside but inside they concentrate more on areas where there is a water supply. The inspector didnt find anything obvious and didnt push the treatment, said it was up to me.

UPDATE: Just an hour ago found them in the kitchen again, this time the wife didnt just kill them and throw them out. Saved them in a glass with alcohol but they were definitely flying ants. Made comparisons to the brochures and NOT termites. Daughter said she had seen the same at her friends house so it may be the time of year or something else thats bringing them out. Still wondering where they're coming from.
Link Posted: 7/16/2013 3:09:22 AM EST
Originally Posted By downrivertrash:
Another estimate is afternoon, $1400.00 from Terminex. They do the same barrier protection outside but inside they concentrate more on areas where there is a water supply. The inspector didnt find anything obvious and didnt push the treatment, said it was up to me.

UPDATE: Just an hour ago found them in the kitchen again, this time the wife didnt just kill them and throw them out. Saved them in a glass with alcohol but they were definitely flying ants. Made comparisons to the brochures and NOT termites. Daughter said she had seen the same at her friends house so it may be the time of year or something else thats bringing them out. Still wondering where they're coming from.


Had the same thing. That is why I mentioned it. I would see 1-2 of the flying ants per day. I got Cyper, followed the directions and sprayed around the outside of the house and Suspend for inside. I only sprayed the "wet" areas inside (bathrooms, under sinks, under washer/dryer, under fridge, etc) and all opening to the outside. I used 2 products because Cyper is cheaper but leaves a white residue while Suspend does not. I have not seen the ants since I sprayed a couple months ago. Haven't seen any other little bugs around the house either.

If you're still worried about termites, that same website sell the termite treatment that "professionals" charge out the ass for. Termidor I might be doing my own trenching soon. I'll save around $1,200 doing it myself. Only reason I will most likely do it is because my house previously had a termite problem and I have no clue when it was last treated.
Link Posted: 7/16/2013 3:38:58 AM EST
Originally Posted By downrivertrash:
Another estimate is afternoon, $1400.00 from Terminex. They do the same barrier protection outside but inside they concentrate more on areas where there is a water supply. The inspector didnt find anything obvious and didnt push the treatment, said it was up to me.

UPDATE: Just an hour ago found them in the kitchen again, this time the wife didnt just kill them and throw them out. Saved them in a glass with alcohol but they were definitely flying ants. Made comparisons to the brochures and NOT termites. Daughter said she had seen the same at her friends house so it may be the time of year or something else thats bringing them out. Still wondering where they're coming from.


Yep. We had the same scare. The flying ants and flying termites look very similar. Termite wings are longer than the flying ant wings.

Still, it might be worthwhile to spray the foundation and inside the crawlspace. Peace of mind and all that. I mixed up 5 gallons of Bugblaster II and went to work. It's expensive and it kills everything, but it does work. Keep it away from flowering plants so you don't kill bees and butterflies.
Link Posted: 7/16/2013 5:09:04 AM EST
Thanks for the info on the bug spray, will definitely look into it. Big relief that it wasn't termites and didn't spend big money for something I didn't have.
Link Posted: 7/16/2013 12:42:49 PM EST
I would go to somewhere like doyourownpestcontrol.com and order up termidor or dominion... Trench your foundation, mix it up, and done.
Link Posted: 7/17/2013 9:49:18 PM EST
Termites are very bad in Georgia and I see them all the time outside eating at the trees and fallen timber. I have a pest control come out quarterly to bait traps and check for infestation. The company insures up to $100,000 in damage if it ever becomes a problem. I hope to never have to use that insurance but believe me, termites are everywhere around my house. I also use Ortho Home Defense around the foundation of my house to help keep insects at bay.
Link Posted: 7/21/2013 11:06:35 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/21/2013 11:09:10 AM EST by victor3ranger1]
Go get you some Bifen 7.9%, mix as directed and spray outside and under the house.

I get mine at our local Co-Op
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 12:32:33 PM EST
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Originally Posted By downrivertrash:
One estimate today, $2300.00 for inside and outside by Truly Nolan. Will work on getting other estimates before I decide. Looks like my precesion rifle work is going to get put on the back burner.
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Often the big names will farm out the work to a subcontractor and eat the profit. Find that sub and you will save bucks.
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